Kratom Addiction, Deaths and FDA Ban

kratom addiction - FDA bans the drug

Kratom Plant: FDA Commissioner Says Death and Addiction

On Nov. 14, 2017, the Food and Drug Administration released a statement warning the public of the socially accepted replacement for Opiate addiction and widely consumed plant, Kratom.

‘The FDA is aware of reports of 36 deaths associated with the use of Kratom-containing products.’

– Scott Gottlieb, M.D., FDA Commissioner

In the issued public health advisory, the FDA states weighted concerns about the Kratom drug and other unapproved substances that are getting across the border and into the United States.

Identically, the amount of substances, such as Kratom, being distributed in the United States are continuing to increase.

What is Kratom?

Kratom is a tropical tree, specifically known as Mitragynia speciosa korth. It is an all-natural plant that is indigenous to Thailand, Indonesia, Papua New Guinea and Malaysia.

Southeast Asia is home to the tree that is categorized in the Rubiaceae family, which is in the same species family as coffee. For centuries, Kratom has been used recreationally and for far-reaching medicinal purposes.

‘At low doses, it’s stimulating, like a strong cup of coffee; at higher doses, it’s sedating and kills pain.’

-VICE, 2016

It has been reported that Kratom works as a stimulant as well as a depressant on the central nervous system. Currently, many of the American people are turning to Kratom for Opiate addiction treatment and withdrawal.

Today, this so-called perfect plant is found at tobacco shops and different vendors across the U.S.

Is Kratom Safe?

According to the FDA, Kratom being a plant has led many to deem the substance safe for use. And its wide spread popularity within the U.S. is because of the plant’s broad range of healing properties.

In October of last year, the Drug Enforcement Administration pulled back on the decision to schedule the plant that would temporarily ban it in the U.S.

‘Calls to U.S. poison control centers regarding Kratom have increased 10-fold from 2010 to 2015, with hundreds of calls made each year.’

– Scott Gottlieb, M.D., FDA Commissioner

This halt in drug scheduling only enabled greater social use of the drug, but for what reasons? The evaluation of Kratom left researchers questioning the potential benefit that the plant could have on our nation.

The research ultimately led to the reversal of its ban last year. The highly held hope for Kratom was that the substance would alleviate the impact of the Opioid epidemic on the U.S.

Kratom For Sale

The controversial drug, Kratom, is sold widely throughout the U.S. An increasing figure of Americans are turning to Kratom to substitute for use of Opioid Painkillers and Heroin.

For this reason, the FDA is utilizing import alters, as well as additional authority, to cease any unapproved, misbranded and foreign drugs from passing through the border.

As reported by the FDA, Kratom produces effects much like Opiate-based drugs and it poses a risk for abuse as well as addiction.

‘We also know that this substance is being actively marketed and distributed for these purposes.’

– Scott Gottlieb, M.D., FDA Commissioner

With that being said, the FDA is finding that amidst the Opioid epidemic, the incline in Kratom usage to replace Opioid use is a serious concern.

The FDA has knowledge of many Americans turning to Kratom in aim of treating various conditions, ailments and disorders. Kratom is being utilized in treatment for chronic pain, depression and anxiety disorder, among many more.

At this point, the administration is working to stop shipments of Kratom from entering the country. Although, during route, law enforcement has detained and seized hundreds of drug shipments, millions of shipments reach U.S. soil annually.

It is safe to assume that there is a wide range of opinions branched from the 2016 DEA proposal to ban Kratom as well as the possible re-enactment of that proposal as we are nearing the end of 2017.

The temporary classification of Kratom in 2016 was put on hold due to strong public demonstrations, petitions and comments. This weight of the public backlash ultimately led to several calls from Congress, requesting that the DEA overrule the decision.

‘There’s clear data on the increasing harms associated with Kratom… reports of Kratom being laced with other Opioids like hydrocodone.’

– Scott Gottlieb, M.D., FDA Commissioner

After overruling the decision, the DEA agreed to delay any further decision, until recommendations were issued by the FDA.

With the statement issued by the FDA commissioner, Scott Gottlieb, M.D., this week, it looks like recommendations the DEA has been waiting for is on its way.

With the recent warnings issued by the FDA, it may not be long before Kratom receives a Schedule I drug classification. What do you think?

If you or a loved one is experiencing Opioid addiction or addiction to other substances, reach out and get the right kind of help, call us at (866)-578-7471.

  1. Kratom was previously used as a sedative, a pain reliever, diarrhea reliever, mood booster and to wean people off of opiates.

  2. As per my experience, if taken under doctor’s moderation and subscription. Kratom can be very helpful. Again, the way human body reacts can’t be predicted for every human body. So, it is better to take great care and consult an expert if possible! 🙂

  3. I wonder how many people reporting problems stemming from Kratom were just dosing themselves incorrectly versus how many had legitimate reactions to it. Having a doctor help wean off an opiate addiction has to be less detrimental to your system overall, right?

    And making it legal would lead to regulated guidelines for purity the plant has to meet, like marijuana in CO, eliminating the fentanyl-laced risks

  4. I’m in a lot of health groups on FB and I see people from time to time say they take Kratom. I’ve never tried it, but have only recently heard negative things about it in the news, such as the deaths and side effects. People have a bad habit of thinking that just because something is natural and from a plant then it must be 100% safe! Even marijuana at high doses or in a concentrated form can be unsafe and I’ve experienced heart issues myself from it. I never knew people were using Kratom for opiate addiction! I bet big pharma is gonna be pissed if they lose $$.

    I never trust these substances found at headshops and tobacco shops, like Salvia. Hell I don’t even trust CBD oil from headshops, it’s really low quality in my experience. My friend did Salvia once and said he tripped so hard for like 2 min but it felt like it was a lot longer. His story really scared me. I know a lot of states ban Salvia now which is probably a good thing. I expect that Kratom will probably be next as more and more people find ways to abuse it. Who knows what the next “new” substance will be that comes out and is legal but ends up becoming illegal.

    Another thing that’s perplexing about Kratom and is that it’s a stimulant at low doses but a depressant at high doses. What are some other things that act in this same way? Not sure I’ve ever seen anything like that. That in itself says to me that the plant could produce some very unstable results when used.

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